Prevent Cancer Foundation® awards seven new research grants

Researcher in lab

Kyra Meister  

Alexandria, Va. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce funding for seven scientists who are researching cancer prevention and early detection. Each scientist has been awarded $100,000 for two years. Areas of focus include the blood, breast, cervix, colon, liver and lung. Listed below are the 2022 research grantees. Click here for more detailed information about their projects. 

Researcher in lab

Grantee: Sarah Bernhardt, Ph.D. 
Project Title: Vitamin D as a Preventive Agent for Young Women’s Breast Cancer 
Named Award: Stohlman Family Grant in memory of Richard Stohlman and Margaret Weigand 
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow 
Institution: Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 

Cancer prevention strategies targeted to time periods of increased breast cancer risk have the potential to increase treatment efficacy while reducing side effects of long-term treatments. Dr. Bernhardt proposes to test the efficacy of vitamin D, an agent with anti-cancer actions, for breast cancer prevention. 

Grantee: Francesca Gany, M.D. 
Project Title: FITx3 
Named Award: Awesome Games Done Quick 
Position: Chief, Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service 
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 

Black people are 40% more likely to die of colorectal cancer (CRC) than most other groups; however, screening improves survival. This project aims to increase CRC screening in the Black communities with low screening rates by adapting methods used to increase Black voter turnout and applying them to enable accessible fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) screening. FIT is a highly effective and potentially more acceptable screening method than colonoscopy. 

Grantee: Ju Youn Kim, Ph.D. 
Project Title: To Investigate the Roles of PIDDosome in NASH and HCC Development 
Named Award: Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program 
Position: Staff Research Associate 
Institution: The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, CA 

With a diet-induced obese mouse model, Dr. Kim will address the role of capase-2 in liver steatosis, the first metabolic dysregulation found in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. This study will provide insight into the early detection of NASH and HCC progression. 

Grantee: Suzanne Miller, Ph.D. 
Project Title: Feasibility of Text Messaging to Reduce Urban Cervical Cancer Disparities 
Named Award: Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation 
Position: Professor 
Institution: The Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center 

Cervical cancer is preventable, but underserved women in the U.S. have lower rates of recommended follow-up after an abnormal test result. This study will assess the feasibility, acceptability and usability of a text message-based tailored counseling intervention to increase follow-up care. 

Grantee: Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. 
Project Title: Testing Radon Communication Methods: Clinical Trial of a Smartphone App 
Named Award: Richard C. Devereaux Outstanding Young Investigator Award 
Position: Professor and Founding Chair Department of Population Health 
Institutions: University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 

Exposure to radon gas at home is the second largest cause of lung cancer (after smoking). Dr. Schwartz developed a 21st century approach to radon education—a smartphone app. His research compares information delivered via the radon app versus printed brochures, with potential wide implementation of the educational tool. 

Grantee: Tomotaka Ugai, Ph.D. 
Project Title: Immune Characteristics of Early-Onset and Later-Onset Colorectal Cancers 
Named Award: The Shure Family Charitable Foundation 
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow 
Institutions: Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 

This research study will provide the scientific foundation to explore possible influences of anti-tumor immunity on early-onset colorectal cancer and ultimately generate strategies to harness the immune system for prevention and early detection, with significant impact on clinical practice. 

Grantee: Lisa Yee, M.D. 
Project Title: White Button Mushrooms and Breast Cancer Prevention 
Named Award: Awesome Games Done Quick 
Position: Professor, Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery 
Institutions: Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 

White button mushrooms (WBM) may reduce breast cancer risk. In a WBM trial with obese women at high risk of breast cancer, Dr. Yee will test blood and breast fat before and after WBM consumption for effects on immune cell and inflammation biomarkers. This study data will support future WBM breast cancer prevention trials. 


About the Prevent Cancer Foundation® 

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection.  Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated. 

The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options. 

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